How Does Leptosperin Identify Genuine Mānuka Honey

September 05, 2022 3 min read

In a world where Mānuka honey reigns as the top honey, finding the genuine form can prove difficult. Many companies will use “pure” and “genuine”, but only certain products will be legitimate. 

One of the key determinants is the naturally occurring chemical leptosperin. This chemical is found only in the nectar of the Mānuka plant (and very close relatives). Additionally, it’s commonly used as a biomarker to determine pure New Zealand Mānuka honey.  

This article will outline the history of leptosperin, how it becomes a biomarker and even the implications of Mānuka honey as a whole. 

Where Does Leptosperin Come From? 

Leptosperin was first identified in 2014 by the Japanese researcher, Kato. As this chemical is solely found in the Mānuka nectar, it makes for an excellent marker of authentic Mānuka honey. 

Specifically, leptosperin remains at a stable concentration over long periods, and therefore measuring the concentration within honey will identify whether the honey comes from the Mānuka flower nectar. Furthermore, the concentration level will indicate the potency of the honey and whether or not the product comes from a single source. 

Why Is Leptosperin So Important? 

Leptosperin has become an essential aspect of how the Unique Mānuka Factor (UMF) Honey Association identifies genuine Mānuka honey. 

UMF certification requires a leptosperin concentration of, at minimum, 10mg/kg. This level will certify monofloral Mānuka honey as genuine. 

According to a study conducted by the American Chemical Society in 2014, leptosperin’s chemical activity is needed for purity certification. In addition, a series of tests have concluded that the lower quality honey shows regional differences between leptosperin levels - indicating multifloral honey. 

This same honey did not perform as well in metabolic tests as the pure forms. The concentration of the chemical will protect consumers from disguised and/or low-quality honey. 

Finally, UMF certification allows for anti-fraudulent measures which ensure purity. This stamp of approval will prevent honey that looks like Mānuka honey to be sold as such. Providing UMF authenticity enables the customer to know what they’re buying is the real thing. 

How Is Leptosperin Measured? 

Leptosperin undergoes a multitude of tests to ensure both concentrations and authenticity. According to a 2017 study from Food Chemistry, genuine New Zealand Mānuka honey contains two unique signatures that distinguish it from other honey types. 

Through a method known as fluorescence spectroscopy, Mānuka honey is screened for authenticity due to the micro-chemical signatures contained within. Although other closely related Leptospermum species (tea tree) show similar signatures, the Mānuka leptosperin can be explicitly identified through this method. 

Are There Any Health Benefits To Leptosperin? 

There are no real health benefits from leptosperin. However, the presence of the chemical can still indicate beneficial properties. As leptosperin is a marker for pure Mānuka honey, buyers can take comfort knowing that the Mānuka honey they buy is genuine. 

Within genuine Mānuka honey is methylglyoxal (MGO), which has proven antibacterial properties. However, MGO is only practical to bring about these benefits within a natural monofloral Mānuka honey product. 

As a rule of thumb, where there is at least 10mg/kg of leptosperin within Mānuka honey, the MGO will likely be at the practical level of providing benefits. 

Why You Can Trust The Products Of PURITI 

At PURITI, all of our products are UMF certified. Each honey that we sell meets and exceeds the minimum required leptosperin and MGO concentrations set by UMFHA. As a result, consumers can buy from PURITI with confidence knowing that we are only selling 100% genuine New Zealand Mānuka honey.

PURITI separates itself from many in the current market. Not only do we meet the legal and scientific definition of monofloral Mānuka honey, as set by the New Zealand government. 

PURITI also includes 11 separate anti-counterfeit measures made within our packaging - we provide absolute quality assurance to our customers. In addition, we follow particular methods to sustain our unique monofloral honey composition. As a sacred product of New Zealand, we want to ensure customers receive the best level of quality that PURITI can offer.  

If you’re looking to buy high-quality Mānuka honey online, the great selection of items at PURITI will be the perfect place to browse an extensive range of unique products. 

Buy our Mānuka honey onlinefor all your wellness needs.